How in­flam­ma­tion af­fects us

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - BMS INDULGE -

IN­FLAM­MA­TION is part of the body’s im­mune re­sponse by which white blood cells and im­mune-fight­ing chem­i­cals work to pro­tect the body from in­fec­tive for­eign sub­stances such as bac­te­ria, viruses and in­juries.

An acute in­flam­ma­tion starts im­me­di­ately af­ter an in­jury. It is usu­ally mild and short-lived with signs and symp­toms last­ing a few days.

How­ever, it may progress to chronic in­flam­ma­tion if the acute re­sponse can­not be re­solved.

A pro­longed in­flam­ma­tory process known as chronic in­flam­ma­tion can linger for sev­eral months to years and is be­lieved to be the root of a myr­iad of dis­eases.

One huge con­tribut­ing fac­tor to in­flam­ma­tion is di­etary choices. Su­gar and other high-glycemic food are the ma­jor cul­prits.

They in­crease blood su­gar lev­els and trig­ger the re­lease of in­sulin, which in turn re­sults in a proin­flam­ma­tory re­sponse. Pro­cessed food, high-fat food, meat, dairy and wheat prod­ucts also trig­ger in­flam­ma­tion.

Obe­sity or be­ing over­weight may in­crease the risk of chronic in­flam­ma­tion. Obese people have a large store of adi­pose tis­sues, which pro­duce pro-in­flam­ma­tory cy­tokines.

Lack of phys­i­cal ac­tiv­i­ties is also as­so­ci­ated with de­vel­op­ment of in­flam­ma­tion. Sleep de­pri­va­tion, stress and other poor life­style habits such as smok­ing, recre­ational drug use and ex­ces­sive al­co­hol con­sump­tion can prompt our im­mune re­sponse and even­tu­ally re­sult in pro-in­flam­ma­tory pro­cesses in the body.

Many de­pend on over-the­counter non-steroidal anti-in­flam­ma­tory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibupro­fen, as­pirin or naproxen to man­age pain, in­flam­ma­tion and stiff­ness. NSAIDs work by block­ing the prostaglandins, the chemical mes­sen­gers re­spon­si­ble for pain and in­flam­ma­tion, through the in­hi­bi­tion of COX-2 en­zymes.

How­ever, at the same time, they also in­hibit the COX-1 en­zymes, which keep the lin­ing of the di­ges­tive tract and blood ves­sels in­tact.

This will cause a mul­ti­tude of harm­ful gas­troin­testi­nal side ef­fects. COX-2 in­hibitors can se­lec­tively block COX-2 en­zymes, which may be good for pain man­age­ment, but long-term us­age can pro­mote clot­ting and in­crease risk of heart

at­tack and stroke.

Cur­cumin, the nat­u­ral ap­proach to treat­ing in­flam­ma­tion

You prob­a­bly know turmeric is a culi­nary spice. Be­sides culi­nary uses, it also of­fers great medic­i­nal ben­e­fits. Cur­cumin, the ac­tive com­pound from turmeric, is used as an in­ter­ven­tion for in­flam­ma­tory dis­eases. This po­tent anti-in­flam­ma­tory agent of­fers safe and ef­fec­tive ther­a­peu­tic ben­e­fits in alle­vi­at­ing in­flam­ma­tion and pain as­so­ci­ated with rheuma­toid arthri­tis, gas­tri­tis, cys­ti­tis and other in­flam­ma­tory con­di­tions. It only in­hibits the ac­tion of COX-2 en­zymes while pre­serv­ing the COX-1. Un­like NSAIDs, it re­lieves joint pain with­out caus­ing any gas­troin­testi­nal side ef­fects.

There is a rel­a­tively low amount of cur­cumin in curry pow­der. The spice only con­tains a low con­cen­tra­tion of 5% to 7% cur­cumin. The patented C3 Cur­cumin Com­plex ex­tract is stan­dard­ised to con­tain 95% to­tal cur­cum­i­noids, in­clud­ing cur­cumin, bis­demethoxy cur­cumin and demethoxy cur­cumin.

While pure cur­cumin is poorly ab­sorbed into your blood­stream af­ter oral in­ges­tion, its bioavaili­bilty can be sig­nif­i­cantly im­proved by adding a black-pep­per ex­tract known as piper­ine. BioPer­ine is the patented black pep­per which can en­hance the ab­sorp­tion rate of cur­cumin.

Cur­cumin pro­vides a nat­u­ral ap­proach to re­duce in­flam­ma­tion and also to ad­dress the un­der­ly­ing causes, as well as to strengthen the body as a whole.

For max­i­mum ef­fi­cacy, look out for cur­cumin sup­ple­ment for­mu­lated with stan­dard­ised cur­cumin ex­tract and piper­ine ex­tract for en­hanced ab­sorp­tion.

This ar­ti­cle is brought to you by Vi­taHealth. For queries, con­tact Vi­taHealth at 03-7729 3873.

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